CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for June 30, 2014 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
POTUS VOWS TO TAKE EXECUTIVE ACTION ON IMMIGRATION ... President Barack Obama said Monday he was starting "a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress," adding that he directed his team to recommend steps he can take this summer and that he would then act on those steps "without delay." Obama said he would act because House Speaker John Boehner told him last week the chamber wouldn’t vote on a comprehensive bill this year. – Tom Cohen and Cassie Spodak
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER IN A STATEMENT: “It is sad and disappointing that … President Obama won't work with us, but is instead intent on going it alone."
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SCOTUS RULES AGAINST OBAMACARE CONTRACEPTION MANDATE ... The Supreme Court ruled that certain for-profit businesses cannot be required to pay to cover some types of birth control for their employees. In a 5-4 decision, the high court's conservatives essentially ruled that some businesses have religious rights.The decision, which comes two years after the justices narrowly preserved the Affordable Care Act and its key funding provision, could serve as a primer for other pending challenges to Obamacare. – Bill Mears
SENATE DEMOCRATS “WILL DO SOMETHING” ... A Senate Democratic leadership aide tells CNN that Senate Democrats “will do something”in response to the Supreme Court decision and are moving toward a floor vote on a to-be-determined Democratically-crafted bill. The exact language of the proposed bill and the timing of when it would be introduced are still be worked out, the source added. Any such bill is expected to meet with a wall of resistance from Republicans and does not have a strong chance of passing, still the Democrats want to get a vote on the record. – Lisa Desjardins
Gut Check Full Service: A July 19 Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that the majority of Americans disagree with SCOTUS’ decision, while a Gallup poll released Monday finds that the public’s confidence in the Supreme Court is at a record low.
2014 WATCH: A SILVER LINING FOR DEMOCRATS? At first glance, Monday's Supreme Court ruling appears to be a defeat for the White House, Democrats and the health care reform measure they pushed into law. But ruling could motivate younger women and unmarried women to show up at the polls come November. Exit polls indicate that unmarried and younger women support Democrats over Republicans, but their numbers also traditionally drop from presidential elections to midterm contests. – Paul Steinhauser
A MESSAGING PROBLEM FOR THE GOP? Many Republicans trying to rally the female vote in 2014 called the Supreme Court’s decision as a win for the First Amendment. Rep. Cory Gardner, who is looking to unseat Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colorado, responded by also calling for the Food and Drug Administration to move quickly to make oral contraceptives available to women without a prescription. “This easy step will make oral contraceptives both accessible and affordable for every woman who wants them,” Gardner said in a statement.
Erick Erickson (@EWErickson)
It was a tough choice today. Celebrate Hobby Lobby by going to Chick-Fil-A or making my wife make me a sandwich. #CFAFTW
2016 WATCH: ON THE RIGHT ... RAND PAUL’S BIG HIRE IN IOWA ... Sen. Rand Paul, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, named former Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Steve Grubbs as the chief strategist of his Iowa RANDPAC operation Monday. Grubbs is a veteran of Iowa presidential campaigns, having worked for Bob Dole, Steve Forbes, Tommy Thompson Herman Cain.
ON THE LEFT ... CLINTON SLAMS SCOTUS RULING ... “I find it deeply disturbing that we are going in that direction,” Clinton said at the Aspen Institute Ideas Forum Monday. “It is a disturbing trend that you see in a lot of societies that are very unstable, anti-democratic and frankly prone to extremism - where women and women's bodies are used as the defining and unifying issue to bring together people.”
ROMNEY DONOR TAPPED TO LEAD THE V.A. ... President Barack Obama nominated Bob McDonald - a West Point graduate and former CEO of Procter & Gamble - to head the Department of Veterans Affairs. McDonald would take over a troubled department for the Democratic administration, despite having previously donated to Republican political candidates such as House Speaker John Boehner and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
THE BUZZ: KISSING CONGRESSMAN REVERSES DECISION, WILL SEEK REELECTION ... Rep. Vance McAllister said Monday he will run for re-election in November despite previously announcing he would not seek another term. "Today, after consulting with my wife and family, I have made a decision to run for re-election for the 5th Congressional District," he said in statement. "I know the needs of this congressional district very well. I also know that this district needs a strong, conservative voice in Congress."
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks post gains for first half of 2014. Dow is more than 1% higher. NASDAQ and S&P 500 have risen about 6%.
Which Supreme Court justice debated against California Gov. Jerry Brown in high school?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Who is VA nominee Bob McDonald?
Bob McDonald, President Barack Obama's pick to head the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs, has been in the hot seat before. That's when he led global consumer products giant Procter & Gamble in the throes of the Great Recession. – Gregory Wallace and Leigh Ann Caldwell
Leading CNNMoney: GM offers victims more than $1 million
General Motors offered at least $1 million Monday to the families of those who died as a result of a defect in GM cars. The automaker will give another $300,000 for each surviving spouse and dependent, in addition to a sum of money that will be determined by the victims' earning potential. – Katie Lobosco
SENATE CONSUMER PROTECTION SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIRMAN CLAIRE MCCASKILL IN A STATEMENT: “I’ll be closely reviewing Mr. Feinberg’s plan, but this is a necessary step on the road toward full accountability at General Motors.”
Leading Drudge: 5-4: Supremes Chip Away At Obamacare
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that some corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women. – AP’s Mark Sherman
Leading HuffPo: Elizabeth Warren Goes Where Obama Won't
Candidates from West Virginia and Kentucky, states where a visit by President Obama could doom Democrats’ prospects, are calling after (Elizabeth) Warren.– Real Clear Politics’ Caitlin Huey-Burns
Leading Politico: Blacks to Thad Cochran: You owe us
Thad Cochran won a primary runoff by turning out the black vote. Now they are asking — what are you going to do for us? Already the members of the Congressional Black Caucus are talking about what they want Cochran to do. The wish list is filling up with ideas like maintaining funding for food stamps, beefing up programs that help poor blacks in Mississippi and even supporting the Voting Rights Act. – Anna Palmer and Lauren French
Leading New York Times: On the Next Docket: Facebook, Rap Lyrics and Free Speech
Just four years ago, the Supreme Court issued a hesitant and muddled decision in a privacy case, saying it was best to move slowly when ruling on an “emerging technology before its role in society has become clear.” The cutting-edge innovation in the case: pagers ... Now there is a new challenge looming on the docket for the term that starts in October, one that will require the court to consider how the First Amendment applies to social media. – Adam Liptak
The political bites of the day
– Obama: House Republicans afraid to stand up to tea party –
PRESIDENT OBAMA IN IMMIGRATION REMARKS IN THE ROSE GARDEN: “Our country and our economy would be stronger today if House Republicans had allowed a simple yes-or-no vote on this bill or, for that matter, any bill. They'd be following the will of the majority of the American people, who support reform. And, instead, they've proven again and again that they're unwilling to stand up to the Tea Party in order to do what's best for the country. And the worst part about it is a bunch of them know better.”
– Conservative candidate calls out moderate challenger for POTUS’ remarks –
STATE REP. JOE CARR, R-TENNESSEE, IN A STATEMENT: “For President Obama to stand before the American people today and blame the tea party for the current crisis on the border is embarrassing and shameful. Someone should ask Lamar Alexander if he agrees with President Obama that the tea party is the cause of the border crisis."
– Ginsberg: SCOTUS ruling may create “havoc” –
SUPREME COURT JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG IN HER DISSENT: “Persuaded that Congress enacted the (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) to serve a far less radical purpose, and mindful of the havoc the court's judgment can introduce, I dissent.”
– Pelosi invokes Kochs in statement slamming SCOTUS decision –
HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI IN A STATEMENT: “Although the court restricted their ruling to ‘closely-held’ companies, this ruling will immediately affect the lives of millions of women across the country. Over 90 percent of America’s businesses are ‘closely-held,’ including such large employers as Koch Industries and Bechtel.“
– Pope Francis' makes an appeal for peace in Iraq –
POPE FRANCIS IN HIS PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR JULY: “The news from Iraq is, unfortunately, very painful ... I join with the bishops of the country in their appeal to the authorities so that, through dialogue, national unity may be maintained and war avoided. I am close to the thousands of families, especially Christians, who have had to leave their homes and who are in grave danger. Violence begets violence; dialogue is the only path to peace. Let us pray to the Virgin Mary that she might safeguard the people of Iraq”.
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Niels Lesniewski (@nielslesniewski)
So, if I have this right, POTUS will pursue immigration changes on his own while also seeking an immigration-related emergency supplemental?
Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarliN)
Marco Rubio warned last year that Obama would take exec action if GOP didn't preempt him with reform. He was right: http://msnbc.com/hardball/marco …
Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDCNN)
KEY TERM: "Closely-held company". According to the IRS it is majority-owned by 5 or fewer people. http://www.irs.gov/Help-&-Resources/Tools-&-FAQs/FAQs-for-Individuals/Frequently-Asked-Tax-Questions-&-Answers/Small-Business,-Self-Employed,-Other-Business/Entities/Entities-5%20%20 …
Aaron Blake (@AaronBlakeWP)
"Closely held corporations" account for 52% of the American workforce, 90% of businesses http://wapo.st/1r6ztQH
(10:07AM) Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal)
.@BarackObama is now googling “Can an Executive Order override Supreme Court?” #HobbyLobby
(11:45AM) Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere)
Earnest: "We'll consider whether or not there's some oppty for the president to take some sort of action that would mitigate this decision"
Carrie Dann (@CarrieNBCNews)
EMILY's List calls Hobby Lobby "stark reminder" of need for Dems to keep Senate. "We need every woman to get out and vote in November"
Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs)
Rand Paul's new Iowa push comes 2 days after Branstad forces snuffed out last vestiges of liberty control in GOP here http://desmoinesregister.com/story/news/pol …
gwen ifill (@gwenifill)
In response to Q about income inequality, @HillaryClinton finally gets to use the word "poverty." #switchingitup @aspenideas
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer, an active member of his California high school debate team, squared off against California Gov. Jerry Brown long before either man was involved in government. Asked In an interview with C-SPAN in 2010 if the California governor was any good, Breyer said, “Oh, yes, he was fine.”
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Congrats to Melanie Parker (@parkerml) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.
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